Mushroom town: how a tiny corner shop beat Sainsbury’s

Unless you are from Yorkshire, you have probably never heard of Pateley Bridge. Why should you? It has a population of 2,000 people and a single high street that, if made any steeper, would be a vertical drop.

If you want to buy groceries, it’s a drive to the nearest supermarket. Or, you could try one of the two local stores located in the town.

This is a far stretch from my home city of Leeds. It has a population of over 600,000, and that is just the city itself. The wider metropolitan area makes up the biggest population outside of London.

So, you would think that the product ranges available would be incompatible. And, for the most part, they are. But, on a recent trip to Pateley Bridge, one store threw up a pleasant surprise.

Where to buy mushrooms in Leeds

If you want to buy mushrooms, a supermarket seems the obvious place. They sell food, after all. If you want to buy any mushroom more interesting than the standard varieties, you can find them at Sainsbury’s.

In a box called “speciality mushrooms”.

Which includes a selection from the following list:

“Shiitake, Buna-Shimeji, Shiro-Shimeji, Eryngii, Oyster mushrooms, Enoki, Golden Enoki, Maitake”

So, while you will end up with something more interesting, there is no way to know what you will get or in want quantities. There is no way to plan a meal, for example. And even if there was, because you get a selection, you never have enough of what you actually want.

Unless you buy a lot of boxes and throw most of the mushrooms away. Which, again, you can’t, because you do not know what you are going to get.

And there are no chanterelles anywhere to be found. Nor can they be found in Ocado’s spacious warehouse.

A surprising find in Pateley Bridge

Last month, we visited Pateley Bridge. On returning from our walk, we wanted to buy some bread and had a choice of the two convenience stores located in the town.

One of them advertised it was selling “paninis”. This quickly ruled the store out: as a pedant (yes, despite my awful spelling), I couldn’t possibly buy from a store that did not understand that “panini” was already the plural of “panino”.

By process of elimination, we entered the other store. And found this sitting on the shelves.

Despite never having seen chanterelle mushrooms in any supermarket in Leeds, nor at Kirkgate market of street stalls, here in this small town of 2,000 people, they were on sale.

Sure, they are dried. The store wasn’t having fresh chanterelles shipped in every few days. But that makes it even more inexplicable as to why you cannot buy them anywhere else.

Conclusion

There probably is an obscure shop somewhere in Leeds that sells them. If you know of it, let me know.

Until then, as I don’t fancy the hour’s drive to Pateley Bridge every time I want some mushrooms, it may be time to follow the adage “if you want a mushroom done right, you have to grow it yourself.”

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This entry was posted on Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at 11:00 am and is filed under Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.